Grassroots advocacy group Game Workers Unite posted a statement on Pricegate today, “emphatically denouncing” ArenaNet for firing Guild Wars 2’s Jessica Price and Peter Fries over last week’s Twitter/Reddit meltdown.
“Regardless of how one feels about Price’s actions and regardless of where one draws the line between rudeness and exasperation in Price’s tweets, the fact of the matter is that there is an entire spectrum of responses ArenaNet could have taken, but chose not to,” the statement said.
The group labeled Mike O’Brien as a “clearly inadequate” leader who “made the knee-jerk reaction” last week to fire the two developers.
“ArenaNet has signaled to the entire industry that our job security can be, and almost certainly will be, imperiled by the most vitriolic and volatile players,” the group wrote. “This event carries echoes of Gamergate, and will only embolden harassers further.”
Game Workers Unite formed earlier this year as a possible up-and-coming union — or at least, a collection of unions — for professionals in the video games industry.
GWU Bay Area's membership increased over 25% this week, with new members citing @ArenaNet's unethical firings as what motivated them to join. One new member wrote "I saw Jessica Price and Peter Fries get fired so what chances would I have without a union?" Let's build one ✊🏽 https://t.co/AEV1Ig42vb
— GWU Bay Area (@GWU_BayArea) July 10, 2018
Further reading on the incident and ensuing fallout: